Wizards of the Coast

  www.wizards.com
  www.wizards.com

Wizards of the Coast Reviews

Updated December 10, 2014
Updated December 10, 2014
54 Reviews
2.4
54 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Wizards of the Coast President and CEO Greg Leeds
Greg Leeds
30 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Supportive of work-life balance, several fun employee appreciation events every year (in 9 reviews)

  • half day Fridays, benefits package, generous 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, paid holiday between Dec 24-Jan2 (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Some senior management are difficult to work for and some key teams are understaffed and under-resourced (in 4 reviews)

  • This used to be a great place to work I had several managers I truly respected and a team that was inspiring to work with (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Best of Both Worlds

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wizards is great for young go getters. They come in, get to work on cool technology that’s mostly less than 10 years old, build up some nice resume bullet points. Then they leave since pay is better everywhere else in this area.

    But what about the rest of us? The real people. I’ve been here a few years now. I checked out years ago. How’s Wizards for the majority of us?

    It’s FANTASTIC. My manager checked out years ago too. Beyond that? No one cares!

    You never meet your skip level manager. Never. You never meet your director, or VP, or anyone above your direct, every day manager. And there’s about 10 layers between me and the local CEO. I’m closer to Kevin Bacon than him!

    What about the skip level manager - worried that he’ll catch my manager being checked out? There’s no worries there. Just recently had a group meeting with him. He has four reports, and manages four products. He messed up the name of one of his direct reports and one of his products! And when called on it he responded “Everyone calls him [incorrect pronunciation]”!! Is there any clearer way he can say “I don’t care about you or your product”? This is a 100% true example of every day life at Wizards.

    There is no better place for the 15 minute a week workers. There’s so many of us I don’t worry about losing my job, even if the managers cared. But they so obviously don’t care that it’s one less thing to worry about.

    Cons

    No upward mobility. But if you're basing your career at this company, you've got bigger problems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work! Not being recognized by any manager will keep me collecting paychecks from you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good associates, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good group of colleagues to work with,

    Cons

    Management ready to throw anyone under the bus to avoid their own inability to motivate and be a part of the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop blaming your direct reports for your own failings

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Marketing is not marketing at all, but rather, just an oligarchy of glorified A&P spenders.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    Magic has grown tremendously over the last 5 years. Most of the Magic brand team is very passionate about the game (largely because they are avid players). There is truly only one trained marketer on the Magic team and she is relatively new.
    D&D brand team is very solid, hard working, visionary, and capable.
    The Creative teams are impressive. The art and manufacturing is top of class.
    HR team has talent; is the best in recent memory (maybe ever)
    Technology team is finally picking up steam (and improving morale) largely due to a significant improvement in leadership.
    Finance leadership is solid, contemporary, and relevant. They are highly involved.

    Cons

    R&D designs great paper Magic, but is not poised with the talent to design in the digital world.
    Magic brand team leadership lacks transformative vision and are generally novice managers who are more interested in ego and empire building than anything else.
    The Web Publishing team is a complete disaster, failing to deliver anything of significance technologically and the latest project was a colossal failure by any measure.
    The marketing team's culture, established by its leader, is based on masoginistic narcissism and ego-based decision making. Everyone works to satisfy the leadership's constantly changing emotional whims.
    Ideas are torn down and constantly refactored so that "proper credit" can be accepted upward.
    Everything is blamed on either the Sales team or the Technology team.
    HR is powerless because executive bullying is allowed, especially in Marketing and Sales, where Marketing in particular believes they are over-qualified in every discipline.
    Magic Online Business team leadership is unqualified
    Executive team has only four qualified executives in positions to take the company forward; HR, Finance, Technology, and CEO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is so much potential in the staff that can simply be unlocked by letting go of the cancerous parts of the leadership team that just intentionally provoke discord. Focus the executive team on their own functional areas and stop allowing them to pick each other's teams apart. This company is not Turbine; some of us have worked at Turbine and can say definitively that this behavior was not allowed there either.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Outdated organization and outdated technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is good
    Comp is good in certain groups
    Hasbro 401k plan is stellar if you're able to contribute

    Cons

    Health benefits are awful, with massive out-of-pocket costs
    Vacation time is a bit low for the area and industry
    Company culture is very weak
    Career development is extremely difficult

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten your org structure. The current model of silos upon silos upon silos doesn't work and breeds inefficiency; so much so that you needed to create a massive (and near useless) PMO group to try and navigate it all. Nobody's bosses boss should have three bosses.

    Use just a tiny piece of those massive profits to treat your employees like they matter. Update the hideous 1980's office. Treat them to some fun events (hint: letting people play Magic doesn't count). Go visit other local game studios and see what those environments are like...maybe you'll realize why recruiting is so difficult.

    Bring in technology experts and engineers with experience in modern systems. The people who've been at Wizards for 10+ years are as out-of-date as the technology they're trying to fix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not a company to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Technology
    Current Employee - Information Technology

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very little, other then a week off at Christmas and free Magic cards

    Cons

    The list is to long to mention, but the environment is toxic for most honest working dedicated employees. Think grade school click dynamics with little chance of advancement unless your in the Wizards click. This is driven by many of the long term people who have been with the company for 15+ years. They've been promoted to Top positions by having little talent but being in the click and see new comers as a threat to the status quot. It's very sad, as this could be a great place to work if you could get rid of these people and HR which is part of the click, so don't think anything you say in confidence will be safe! You'll soon be on the OUT list if you say anything that could be seen as an improvement as this threatens the people who have been there doing nothing for years accept getting promoted for being part of the click.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of anyone who has been there longer then 7-9 years and start fresh!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Facebook in the morning, long lunch, Netflix in the afternoon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you want a job where you don’t have to work that lets you spend most of the day on Facebook, Reddit or whatever website you want, look no further. Your performance will be measured against a handful of silly goals that you set for yourself. Wizards is ideal for people who just want to stall out career-wise. There is no reward for hard work, so don’t bother trying to get your job satisfaction out of making meaningful contributions. Instead, take advantage of the perks you’ll find at Wizards that you won’t find at any other employer on the planet that actually makes money: take two- to three-hour lunches, two to three times a week… conduct all of your personal business during working hours… “work” from home to care for a sick child… book a conference room on the third floor for a few hours and catch up on Netflix… find a way to use FMLA and take a couple of months off of work entirely… set up a MTGO trading side job to make money from stuff you never paid for!

    The good news is that you’ll never be fired because Hasbro’s HR and risk management staff is so afraid of getting sued for wrongful termination that you’d basically have to be caught stealing Magic cards to get fired, and not know the right people who can help you cover up a situation like that.

    Cons

    The unfortunate part is that the majority of workers hate coming to work. Hardworking, smart, talented people move on to other companies, leaving behind the people who either can’t get a job anywhere else or are too lazy or depressed to try. There are a few exceptions, of course, but HR will see to it that they don’t stay around too long. They’ll have them apply for “consideration” of a title change or pay increase, withholding all assistance during that process – even for individuals worth retaining – ensuring that the success rate stays somewhere below 3%. Whatever you do, don’t complain about anyone who is never working – you’ll be ostracized, because the majority of workers are never working.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire carefully. Stop promoting people into positions just because they’re the ones who stuck around long enough. Stop making people managers just because they have the most institutional knowledge.

    Fire quickly. If you want to fire someone, fire them. You know the ones that need to go. Tell HR you’re willing to accept the risk of firing someone who hasn’t done a PIP. Why do you let them make business decisions for you? We spend stupid amounts of money on "marketing" that drives zero business, but we aren't willing to spend a little on severance to get rid of some seriously toxic/lazy/unqualified employees?

    Firing a few people would help to restore the work ethic in people who are basically good but have just gotten complacent and know they won’t be fired.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Not a shred of accountability to be found anywhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not many, honestly. Half day Fridays? Though many poor overworked slaves dont really get to take advantage. Ironically the people who SHOULD be there working are the first out the door Friday afternoons. 401k match is good, I guess. Wizards is lucky the products are so good.

    Cons

    Buck passing as far as the eye can see. The senior manager and director level management ranges from very bad to excellent. The exec team is useless and generally terrible, with a couple members who contribute to a toxic work environment. Zero commitment to innovate and "risk" upsetting Magic. Any time someone questions ANYTHING, rather than owning mistakes and committing to get better as a group, people retreat to defensive positions and lash out, especially the bottom of the barrel people who are lucky to have jobs at all - the rejects from other companies that will actually take the well-below-market salaries WotC pays. I love the products and hoped after I left that they'd find their way and succeed, but it doesn't look like it's happening given the other reviews here in the last ~18 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure what to tell you all. You made your bed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Very poor, stay away if you value your sanity and your career.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    The people you work with are nice, hardworking and talented. You get free magic cards and 1/2 Friday is nice as it gives you a long weekend.

    Cons

    Poor management.

    Architecture actively works to keep projects from being successful. Their assumptions are not based on fact, rather on outdated poorly understood interpretation of how modern technology works.

    The result is that nothing gets done. As a developer you are forced into doing things the wrong way, and when it does not work you get blamed.

    The message from HR is very clear: if you disagree with an architect, expect to be out on probation and then fired at the first opportunity. If something goes wrong, which happens often, expect to be blamed and then fired at the first opportunity. If something goes right and the lead architect does not approve, again expect to be blamed and fired at the first opportunity.

    For awhile, the team had some really good architects and things were improving a lot. People liked working here and things were getting a lot better. Then these architects were removed, suddenly, and things went back to normal which just got worse and worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix or remove your architecture team. Seriously, consider if you even need one. Your company is not so large that one is needed. Let the developers and their leads determine the direction, technology and their solutions. If you do this within a year all of your problems in your digital space will be history.

  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    I would not recommend a job here with the current management team.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with in "the trenches" are some of the best in the business, truly great folks and the people I worked with at Hasbro (the parent company) were awesome. That kept me going for a long time. In addition to those folks, all the best parts of working there come from their perks and benefits -much of which is Hasbro's influence (but many Wizards leaders don't want you to know that.): half day Fridays, benefits package, generous 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, paid holiday between Dec 24-Jan2., daycare onsite, gym onsite, etc.

    Cons

    This used to be a great place to work I had several managers I truly respected and a team that was inspiring to work with. Truly great leaders surround themselves with people willing to tell them the truth. This creates teams of people willing to take risks and create great products. But, by the time I left that wasn't the case. By the time I left, it appeared that anyone who was brave enough to challenge the CEO and was willing to take a stand for their employees had been replaced by people who must be terrified of losing their jobs. That's the only way I can explain how most of the employees can be treated so poorly by their Senior leaders.

    Things take a very long time to move forward. Again, I can only attribute that to leaders being afraid to MAKE a decision until the person in the chain above them approves of the decision. Therefore, many things get left undone.

    I feel the worst for the mid-level managers who seem to merely be doing the dirty work of the Directors and VPs above them.

    Bad behavior seems to be tolerated and in many cases it seems the loudest bullies get the promotions.

    I witnessed someone on the Senior Team rip an employee up one side and down the other for a project that (the Senior Leader) didn't like. The project turned out to be a huge success but no one was brave enough to publicly announce that on a day when the Senior Leader was in the office.

    I also witnessed lower-level employees who came up with an innovative, cost-efficient plan, present it to upper level leaders and have it nastily vetoed. All those employees were laid off (or quit) within 6 months. Later, a Senior Leader took the very same idea and was applauded for such an innovative process.

    If you do apply for a job there, ask about the turnover rate in the department to which you are applying. Those are the departments with bully leaders.

    In my experience, if you are honest, work hard and come up with innovation ideas, you are punished with more work, leaders stealing your ideas, and moved to positions where you're no longer doing what you were hired to do.

    I've observed those who seem to do no work, steal other's ideas, and employ bullying behavior rewarded with promotion after promotion..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All leaders need to take an honest look at their behavior. If they can completely flip the culture back to a place where hard work. genuine innovation and positive behaviors are rewarded (and lazy work, stealing ideas and negative behaviors are punished) then that's great. If not, there needs to be a housecleaning from the top down, in my opinion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Slaving away, the Wizards way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Designer in Renton, WA

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working on the art and the products is fun & awesome, if not THE BEST. Great add for your design portfolio. Very Glad I had this experience, will miss it very much.

    Cons

    Things, I will NOT miss at all: They are a great example of what a contradiction is. They want perfection yet do not want to have to work for it. They want you to be organized and produce work without providing the proper information, files or TIME (you should just know and you should be able to magically make things appear out of thin air). Professional organized individuals seem to terrify and create insecurities for their enormous, yet fragile egos. They always forget to include: "Slave & mind reader" among their job requirements (god forbid you ask for specific instructions, AGAIN you should just know).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't think there is anything to say. You are all too far gone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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